Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I-to-I day eleven: Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Tuesday 1st March 2011 (white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits)

MP3 track of the day: Head, shoulders, knees and toes … knees and toes

Weather: Quite cool. The weather over the last two days has been very reasonable, probably due to the amount of cloud we've had. No rain clouds just yet, maybe they're on their way.

My usual breakfast, of pancakes and sugar, took so long to arrive that I forgot to pay for them. I rushed out after eating and boarded the tuk-tuk. Yes I'm back on the tuk-tuk as yesterday's mini-van driver declined the job. Sandy was with me however she still didn't look well. I got on with my reading.

Once at school I printed off my lesson plan, and the test for Thursday. I went into my classroom and got to work. First job was to revise what we did yesterday; my students answered all of my 'concept questions' with ease. I then drew - badly – a boy on the board, that I called 'Toby'. The children had to name, and spell, each of Toby's body parts that I drew an arrow to. Again it was going remarkably well, even the spelling. I had ordered 'books closed' and yet their spelling was better than mine. There was a lot of giggling … I knew something was up but I didn't know what. Eventually, after a boy had spelt 'finger' correctly, the class erupted into huge amounts of laughter. I looked perplexed and a young girl, on the front row, put me out of my misery. She pointed and said 'teacher, teacher'. I looked to where she was pointing only to find a small poster, on the wall, displaying a boy with certain body parts labeled. I hid said poster and we started again; their spelling wasn't quite as good, but it wasn't bad.

Next I drilled certain body parts before getting each student, individually, to come out to the board. I then said a body part and the student, using a ruler, pointed to the word. This didn't take long and soon all my students were on their feet. As a class we went through the 'Head, shoulder, knees and toes' song, firstly focusing on pronunciation, and then getting faster and faster. They enjoyed that.

After break I got all my students to stand up once more. I got one student to be 'teacher' and point at words on the board while the rest of the class, including I, would point to that part of our body. It all went down well with a load of giggles and laughs. Finally we finished off 'body parts' with a word search. The students love word searches and this time I had made quite a sneaky one. It took a while for my students to find all nine body parts however they managed it. Once this was done we went over the revision pages; they blasted through them and I was confident that they were ready for the coming test.

My morning students left for the day. As we were covering unit eight – and unit eight was the last unit within the 'let's go book two' text book – I asked one of the Cambodian teachers what was next. She said that she would get 'let's go book three' for them and we could start that on Monday.

It was soon time for my afternoon class. I began to repeat the above lesson plan however it only took me five minutes to work out that something was wrong. A child, in the back right-hand corner of the classroom, wasn't his normal self. He was cherpy, he wasn't engaging within the lesson and instead he lay his head on his bag. I immediately called for a Cambodian teacher to ask him what was wrong. It turned out that he had an upset stomach and so we sent him home. The rest of the lesson went well and we blitzed through my lesson plan quicker than the morning class. Within my afternoon class I have two really bright students, a few not so bright and at least one who doesn''t want to engage. It's extremely hard to pace the lesson so no one gets left behind or no one gets bored.

After lesson two I looked at Sandy and she didn't look well. I was tired – plus I had an headache – but I think Sandy was more revealed to see the day through. I continued to read my book on the way back to the guesthouse, however I did chat to Sandy a little. Before going into the guesthouse I went and got my test copied fifteen times (only cost $1) before getting some snacks for tomorrow. I met the guesthouse owner (I paid for my breakfast) and Kim-Lee; he said that, to reach the orphanage in time, we would have to set off thirty minutes earlier. I surfed the internet, went out for tea and went to my room to chill out and have an earlier than normal night.

Tomorrow I need to prepare my 'moral support' face. I don't think handing out sweets would be such a good idea.

Toodle Pip!

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